By Jak Burke,
the words “minimally invasive” and “obstetrics” or “gentle” and “cesarean” don’t usually go together if you stop to think about child birth: natural, vaginal or cesarean. That is until you understand the philosophy behind Village Obstetrics.
As with any major life transition the birth experience can be a spectrum of events. Some births require an extremely high level of technology and medical support – due to hereditary factors, pregnancy history and preexisting conditions. Other births can be completely free of pain medication and the overt intervention of an obstetrician and they are described as “natural births”. In between lie the majority of birth experiences.
Village Obstetrics offers expectant parents the most minimally invasive care, while managing all attendant or potential risks. This revolutionary approach can best be described as a concierge practice where the mother is central to the decision making. It comes direct from the doctors who founded Village Obstetrics: Jaqueline Worth, M.D (below right) and George Mussalli, M.D (below left).
What does minimally invasive obstetrics care mean?
Essentially it means that Village Obstetrics approaches pregnancy with a genuine reverence to the natural process of birth, which mandates that no two mothers are alike, in terms of their abilities and needs. Equally as important, Village Obstetrics strives to balance the best of modern medicine with the wisdom of unhurried care and birth.
George and Jaqueline have been shaped by the many births they have facilitated as such they truly comprehend the unique quality of each mother and her family. Key to their success is a strong belief in the autonomy of the mother and the power of open communication. So often, expectant mothers can be made to feel like a slab of meat or a cog in the machine during their pregnancy but being listened to and understood are the tools for a successful birth. It requires enormous ability and experience to navigate the complexity that each birth presents. At Village Obstetrics Drs. Mussalli and Worth provide the right fusion of personal care and the latest technology and medical advancements. The result is a patient one-on-one approach to pregnancy, birth and postpartum care.
Village Obstetrics offers a wide range of progressive services for expectant parents including: gentle cesareans, VBAC, natural births and births involving doulas and midwife support.
What is a gentle cesarean?
In a typical cesarean the mother is on her back, strapped onto an operating table. A screen is erected between her and her abdominal area. If the baby is delivered healthy it is taken away for pediatric care – after a quick glimpse and brief touch by the parents. This after-birth care can take up to 30-minutes and for many mothers, this can feel unbearable. A gentle cesarean is much more “family-focused” which means that the parents are more involved in the procedure. A mother can be propped up so that she can observe her infant’s entry into the world. The partition or drape is clear to enable more visibility. The baby is delivered more slowly so as to allow the chest to be squeezed allowing the lungs to clear of fluids (which is what occurs in a vaginal birth). The baby is placed onto its mother’s chest to allow for skin-to-skin time which creates bonding and the infant remains with the mother as she is taken into the recovery room. IV drips (inserted in non-dominant hand) and EKG leads (monitors the baby’s heart-beat) are placed in the least disruptive places permitting the mother to move about more freely. Mothers can also opt for less sedation during surgery so that she is more alert after her baby arrives and has more ability to breast-feed.
The benefits of a gentle cesarean are many-fold: quicker recovery after surgery, lower incidence of postpartum depression, easier breast-feeding experience, proper attachment to infant, and personal empowerment. For an infant the trauma of a surgical birth is reduced when it can hear its mother’s voice, feel her skin, and listen to her heartbeat. This prevents cortisone and other stress hormones from flooding the baby’s sensitive body. For the father or partner the birth experience becomes a shared venture and one that helps a new family maintain their intrinsic sense of connection.
What is a VBAC?
VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. It is possible to aim for a vaginal birth after a previous caesarian. Village Obstetrics has a high VBAC success rate and because of that they have very clear guidelines. See here for more details.
For many mothers the ability to give birth without any medication – as women have been doing for thousands of years – is a mystical, life-altering challenge. The benefits of a natural birth are numerous: easier breast feeding; a deep and immediate connection to the baby; a sense of achievement; a quicker recovery; a more present state of mind and body during birth. Village Obstetrics recommends mothers contemplating a natural birth also take on the services of a doula.
Safety & Health
While Village Obstetrics offers a wide array of birth choices they are most concerned with a mother’s safety. They keep their patients safe through these codes of doctor-patient behavior.
- By knowing everything it is possible to know about a mother
- By talking with her for as long as she needs – whenever she needs
- By making it possible for her to reach the doctors at any time
- By delivering her baby in a hospital (not at home or in a low-risk
birthing center) with safety protocols and expert staff
- By sufficiently monitoring her baby’s heart rate in labor when the
contractions are powerful and frequent
- By seeing a mother every day in the hospital until she can go home
In a nutshell Village Obstetrics offers New York parents the best of all worlds: the comforts of a family-focused birth with the dedication and support of expert obstetricians. What cannot be quantified is the level of patient care – as in a non-hurried approach – to individual families that both Worth and Mussalli provide. With an event as important in our lives as the birth of our child, how can we entrust that experience to anyone other than the best?
Contact Village Obstetrics
Village Obstetrics – 1225 Park Avenue | New York, NY 10128 (tel) 212.741.2229 – please quote BabyDoesNYC upon inquiry.
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